WaPo’s McCartney: Archdiocese of D.C. Should ‘Cut a Deal’ on Homosexual Beliefs

Apparently the Catholic Church is welcome when it promotes causes near and dear to liberal hearts, but it's shown the door as soon as it takes a hard line against controversial issues like homosexuality and abortion.

Robert McCartney of the Washington Post admitted as much in his Dec. 10 column about the effect legalized same-sex "marriage" could have on the charitable activities of the Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.

"I view the church as a tremendous force for good in the world in many ways, especially in its advocacy for the poor and against violence. The U.S. church supports more ambitious healthcare reform than Barack Obama, does, for instance," he wrote. 

"But I part with the church - as many of its members do - on many of positions on sexual issues. Regrettably, those are the ones that religious leaders often seem to care the most about."

McCartney, argued that the diocese is allowing a "dispute over employment benefits," which he claimed "would have little practical effect," to force it to "give up doing valuable, publicly funded work helping the homeless and sick" because the Church does not "want to miss the opportunity, however small, to oppose homosexuals' right to wed."

D.C.'s City Council is scheduled to vote on the legalization of same-sex "marriage" next week. If passed, city laws would then include a requirement of benefits for spouses of same-sex couples. Organizations seeking grants or contracts from the D.C. city government, including the Archdiocese, which does not recognize same-sex "marriage" would have to certify that they comply with city laws in order to be considered for grants or contracts.

Even the liberal ACLU had concerns with the bill currently in front of the Council. Archbishop Donald Wuerl noted in a Nov. 17 WaPo op-ed, "The American Civil Liberties Union, the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington and nationally recognized legal scholars all called for stronger protections for religious freedom in their testimony on the bill."

McCartney failed to include that little nugget and it didn't stop him from accusing the Archdiocese of "trying to cast itself as a victim of secular authorities' intolerance of religious teachings."

Instead, he claimed "the church has discretion over what it chooses to emphasize" and concluded that the Church "should cut a deal rather than walk away from the contracts and leave the city to find other groups to serve the less- privileged."

But the "deal" advocated by McCartney is no deal. It would allow same-sex "spouses" to receive benefits but give them a different label.

McCartney touted the approach used by Georgetown University. "It allows an employee to designate any ‘legally domiciled adult' as a recipient of spousal benefits - while conveniently avoiding the question of whether that person is a same-sex spouse."

McCartney then tipped his contempt of traditional Catholics, noting that "prominent conservative Catholic thinker" George Weigel didn't just say that Georgetown's policy was insufficient, he "sniffed that Georgetown was a Catholic university "at the very best ... in a vestigial sense."

"The benefits issue is about principle rather than practice," McCartney also argued. "Few if any of Catholic Charities are likely to be same-sex spouses. No such spouse has applied for benefits ... and it doesn't ask the sexual orientation of its workforce."

Archbishop Donald Wuerl outlined specifically how the legalization of same-sex "marriage" would effect Catholic Charities op-ed:

The proposed legislation offers little protection for religious beliefs, including no protections for individuals, as is required under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Under the bill, religious organizations would be exempt from participating in ceremonies or from teaching about same-sex marriage in religion classes and retreats in accord with their faith beliefs, but they would be required to recognize and promote same-sex marriage everywhere else, including in employment policies, and adoption and foster-care policies, against their beliefs.

It doesn't take a genius to know that if a law goes so far as to induce the ACLU to plead for greater religious protections, it probably deserves at least one more look